Your First Semester at College: How to Prepare

Your First Semester at College: How to Prepare
  • Opening Intro -

    With high school now behind you, it may be time for you to turn your attention to higher pursuits.

    Namely, your higher education or what is best known as college or university.


It can seem like you have all the time in the world to prepare for your first semester at college, but this summer will fly by. Here’s what you need to know about getting ready, right now.

1. Finalize your dorm accommodations.

Likely, your college has a dorm in mind for incoming students such as yourself. If your housing situation has not been finalized, then do that now. You do not have to meet your roommate in advance, but it would be good to get in touch with this individual.

This is particularly important if you both plan to bring much furniture with you. Certainly, you do not want to have multiple coffee makers, microwave ovens and TVs cluttering your small dorm room.

2. Shop for all your stuff.

You may have a lot of shopping to do before you head off to college. You want to have sufficient clothes with you and a variety of garments at that. If you will be attending college in a colder climate, then you will want to bring with you clothing for all seasons.

Refer to a Going-to-College Moving Checklist to ensure that you have everything that you will need. These items go beyond your clothes to include bed, bath, medicine cabinet, kitchen and clean up supplies. You will also need food items, your tech stuff, personal effects, medicines and more. Keep an eye out for summer sales including early “back to school” specials.

3. Review your class schedule.

If you can sign up for classes early, then do it. Some colleges and universities allow students to complete their class registration over the summer, while others use freshman orientation as the time to get this done.

The first year up to the first two years you will be taking general education classes. These are the core required classes you will need to graduate, what all students must complete. Even so, you will want to consider your college major options and how you might handle those courses. If you know what major you want to take, then declare it as early as possible.

4. Invest in a planner.

College will force you to get organized. And fast! One way to help you get there is to invest in a planner.

Today, your planner choices include both a traditional hard copy planner or two electronic options: an online calendar or an app. Choose the planner that works best for you and begin to fill it up early on.

Include your freshman orientation dates, the first day of classes, holidays, and exam week. You can update it as soon as more information becomes known to you.

5. Consider your transportation needs.

For freshmen students, a car on campus is not an option. They are simply not allowed by the college. That rules out taking your car to college, at least for the first year.

For everyone else, getting to and around campus leaves them with options: public transportation, walking or using their own car. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, including convenience, the cost to pay for public transportation versus maintaining your own car. Consider your options and get prepared now.

Off to College

With early and continual planning, you will feel less stressful when it is time for you to go off to college. Other points to consider as you prepare to leave is a cell phone plan that covers your new location, a student checking account, a possible credit card and your food options, including the college cafeteria.


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Categories: Education Tips